There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried
Today we’re reviewing the adidas Code CODECHAOS 22 BOA Golf Shoe — the BOA Fit System-equipped version of adidas’s top-performing spikeless golf shoe. And, yes, we’re 100-percent positive this adidas shoe is spikeless.
Your adidas CODECHOAS 22 BOA Tester
Tony Covey. Resident BOA guy back from a brief hiatus spent tying laces.
About the adidas CHODECHAOS
The CODECHAOS has become adidas’s flagship spikeless golf shoe. As a perennial strong performer (and multiple winner) in our annual Most Wanted spikeless golf shoe testing, it often rates as one of the best golf shoes on the market. After reading about the CODECHOAS for last several years (on my own damn website), I figured it was about time I actually tried it.
CODECHOAS 22 BOA Golf Shoe Features
- Micro-Adjustable Fit – BOA Fit System provides a secure fit.
- BOOST Foam – adidas’s proprietary foam provides cushioned comfort and “incredible energy return.”
- Recycled Materials – The upper contains at least 50 percent recycled plastic waste.
- Spikeless Traction– A Twist Grip outsole paired with Gripmore rubber secures the foot throughout the swing.
You also get a molded EVA sockliner if you’re into that sort of thing.
The BOA version is available in three colorways while the lace version is offered in seven.
For now, the retail price is holding at $200 while the standard (laced) version has been discounted to $128 (originally $160).
I hate that I have to write this section but, based on the feedback to previous golf shoe reviews, I’ve learned it’s basically impossible to avoid the style discussion. So here we go …
Like most tech-driven BOA designs, the adidas CODECHAOS 22 BOA features one of those over-the-top wrap-around flaps that I suspect is a good bit of the reason why so many have an issue with the BOA-enabled deigns. While the aesthetics aren’t for everyone, the flap works in conjunction with the BOA Fit System to secure the shoe (and, by extension, your foot) more evenly.
Think about it like this: BOA Fit System works a bit like your belt (assuming you wear it properly) whereas traditional laces are more like what your belt would be if you only ran it through the front loops of your pants.
Talk about a lack of style (and function) …
Unlike most BOA designs, the flap system is hidden under a secondary zipper closure. It gives the shoe a more streamlined look, though I suspect some will still have a problem with it.
It certainly doesn’t convey the casual vibe many spikeless wearers are looking for but for a more casual look, don’t tighten the BOA and leave the zipper down.
You think that looks goofy? I know a guy who wears unlaced Louis Vuitton Jordan knockoffs.
Who’s the toolbox now?
As is typical, BOA users are limited to fewer colorways and while most of them aren’t stuff I’d choose anyway, I definitely prefer the black-on-black look of the non-BOA design. As it happens, I wear a fair amount of navy so the Cloud White/Crew Navy/Crystal White colorway is fine for me but I suspect most would prefer the white-on-white option available in the laced version.
Hey, addias, there’s no rule (at least none I’m aware of) that says BOA colorways have to be different. No need to overthink it.
FootJoy—same goes for you.
BOA FIT SYSTEM
I’m not sure how widely known it is but a variety of different closure mechanisms exist within the BOA ecosystem.
The adidas CODECHAOS 22 leverages BOA’s L6 dial paired with a TX4 textile lace (not the kind of lace that’s for suckers). The L6 is the most commonly used dial in the golf shoe world, largely because of its low-profile design. The L6 is micro-adjustable for a precise fit but, unlike the Li2 dial used in the Tour360 22 BOA, it doesn’t offer turn/click to loosen functionality.
Some BOA users grumble about having to retighten over the course of a round. I’ve definitely experienced that and, while I’ve never considered it an issue, I don’t recall having to tighten the CODECHAOS. Frankly, I have no idea why.
adidas CODECHAOS 22 BOA Golf Shoe Fit and Comfort
Neither the BOA nor the suckers (laces) version of the CODECHAOS is available in wide sizes so I can’t rant about a pro-lace bias. As far as the fit relative to other adidas shoes goes, my only current point of comparison is with the previously reviewed adidas Tour360 22 BOA. Between the two, the CODECHOAS definitely feels wider though it doesn’t offer anything close to what you’d get from a true wide size.
That said, it’s a better fitting shoe (for me) and, while the heel cup still doesn’t feel quite right, I don’t get the same feeling of wearing a shoe that was custom made for somebody else’s foot that I got with the Tour360.
This is only my second recent go-around with BOOST foam but I’m definitely a fan. It’s comfortable and supportive without being too soft, which gives the shoe a bit more stability than many spikeless designs.
To be sure, that’s not necessarily what everyone wants from a spikeless shoe. I’m definitely a guy who wants my spikeless shoe to feel (and work) more like a golf shoe than a casual shoe or even a sneaker.
As far as comfort goes, I threw a comfortable pair of backup shoes in my bag just in case. On the 13th hole, I thought I might need them but the discomfort (mostly in the heel and entirely in my slightly larger right foot) leveled off. I haven’t had an issue since.
As I mentioned, I’m not big on the idea that golf shoes should need breaking-in but if you’re willing to tolerate it, a bit more than half a round of walking golf isn’t bad. There’s also a good chance that golfers who typically fit into standard-width shoes won’t have any issues.
I’m going to tell it to you straight. If you swing with any sort of aggression (which is the only way I know how), spikeless shoes can’t match the traction of spiked golf shoes. I’d wager it’s most of the reason why spikeless designs are relatively uncommon on Tour.
That said, I found dry traction to be adequate. I certainly didn’t feel like I was spinning out or anything like that. I think you’ll be fine in dry conditions.
Wet traction, however, is at best a C- (and I’m being generous here). I experienced some slipping, sometimes severe. Predictably, it was most noticeable with the driver.
Bottom line: While Mother Nature has surprised me on two recent occasions, the adidas CODECHAOS 22 BOA isn’t a shoe I would wear if I knew conditions were going to be wet.
On a positive note, my feet stayed dry despite a 15-minute, hide-along-the-tree-line downpour. They’re supposed to be water resistant.
adidas CODECHAOS 22 BOA – Takeaway
The adidas CODECHAOS 22 BOA is my favorite spikeless shoe of 2022. Full disclosure: I’m not a big spikeless guy and, more to the point, up here in Saratoga, N.Y., away from our test facility, I don’t get to test nearly as many shoes (spikeless or otherwise) as I might like.
While the lack of wide sizes is often problematic, there’s enough extra width here so that it’s workable. As I’ve mentioned, I’m on the narrow side as far as true wide-foot guys go so if you’re towards the wider end of wide, you’ll likely need to look elsewhere (until the shoe companies start treating us with the respect we deserve).
As far as where it fits in the market, the CODECHAOS (BOA or otherwise) is definitely not one of those comfort-first, go straight from the office to the golf course, casual kind of things. I mean, it’s got a zipper.
Who wears a zippered shoe to the office?
Forget your casual street vibes, the adidas CODECHAOS is first and foremost a golf shoe, not a shoe you can happen to be able to play golf in. It’s a bit like the FootJoy Pro SL in that respect
The look and, by extension the vibe, are perhaps a bit less formal and that happens to be what exactly what I want in a spikeless design.